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Nightmare in Wayne for Regional Rail riders

Last week we complimented SEPTA on it’s on-time performance during a surprise snowstorm.

This week we take out the paddle.

When SEPTA faces a scenario of ice, sleet, rain and some snow overnight, regular commuters are not surprised by delays on Regional Rail lines. They understand what the authority is dealing with. But Wednesday morning SEPTA could have mitigated the problems – at least in Wayne – by using some basic good sense.

The platforms at the Wayne Station were a solid sheet of ice from 7 a.m. until 9:50 a.m. I know. I was there. No salt was applied and passengers shuffled and slid as they positioned themselves for the next train. Usually the station master salts down the platforms. Not today. But what was really odd was the SEPTA maintenance vehicle double parked in front of the station. It was blocking the pedestrian entrances and there were two employees in weather related garb in the truck. Did they try to de-ice the “runways”? Nope. And get this. Every 15 minutes a public service announcement would broadcast that SEPTA trains were delayed because of weather and the authority’s first concern was the safety of passengers.

Actually, judging from the parking lot the authority was really concerned with illegal parking. Although the permit lot was less than half full, a SEPTA consultant was busy writing tickets to scofflaws. This was a perfect day to give that fellow a bucket of salt and a scoop.

The last issue. SEPTA should figure out where its trains are. The station master told me he had not received a call from his boss monitoring the Thorndale-Paoli Line. Just as he finished his sentence the phone rang and guess who it was? The guy monitoring the trains on the line. He told the Wayne Station Master he knew less about the whereabouts of the trains than the station master! And Trainview was not accurate, at least for the Thorndale to Center City trains.

Like I said, passengers understand the problems SEPTA faces with the weather we’ve been having. Just don’t compound the confusion by forgetting to ue a little good common sense.

Drop me an email about your experiences over the next two days. And, as our wonderful regular conductor on the 8:15 express says, “have a positive and productive day, that is all!”


Contact the reporter at mgolas@design.upenn.edu

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